-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at USCCB.org >
-I will be celebrating mass this weekend at 11:00am and 6:00pm
Through the literary technique of "framing", the author of Mark's Gospel points out to us the importance of "contact with Jesus" to the life of faith. The touch of Jesus, "if only I could touch the hem of his garment". He takes the little girl by the hand - touching.
I am certain that this feature of physical contact with Jesus is the most important lack of faith in the world today. It is the crisis of the impetus of the call for the "new evangelization". What I mean is the lack of desire by the human family to touch Jesus and be touched by him.
The incarnate physical embodied presence of Christ in the church, as Christ instituted it, is the feature of religion most challenged in the world today. The scandals of the church and the over-intellectualization of faith since the Reformation have eroded humanity's ability to find and to seek contact with Jesus in and through the place/person of the church.
In fact, the biblical disciples in conversation with Jesus about the bread of life, found his embodiment to be scandalous, meaning that they "walked away". Likewise, the scandal of the cross is an expression that refers to the in ability of the disciples and of course the Jews to endure the physical embodiment of God in Jesus. They walked away wagging their heads claiming "and this one claimed to be the son of God".
Almost everyone in the world and, I believe, most Catholics do not believe that the church, the institutional, human, embodied, social, divine sacramental body of Christ in the world is a necessary feature of their salvation. Actually, the majority of the people in the world see the church as an obstacle, a pain, difficult, boring, annoying.
In that lies the source of a lack of faith. God is so unable to be effective in the world because of a lack of confidence in and contact with the body of Jesus-the church. Do you feel and experience this lack of intimacy with the body of Jesus-the church? Can our eyes be opened and our hearts opened so that Jesus might touch us again today in and through the imperfect Church? Can we as the limited and imperfect church, his body, re-present ourselves to the world convincingly that they might simply long "to touch the hem of our garments"? It is there that the world will be healed and brought to life!
Get into the ring! How this works...
This is easy! Each week on Thursday I post my homily idea...my main focus for preaching this coming Sunday. What I am hoping for is a reaction from people in the pews. Does my "focus" connect with your daily life, faith, and experience? Or not? Either affirm the direction I am going in (by giving me an example from your life) or challenge me, ask for clarification! Questions are the best! Reaction rather than reflection is what I'm looking for here. Don't be afraid, get in the ring. Ole!